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Afroman

Happy to Be Alive

Review by Gary Hill
Some hip hop manages to stand taller than other offerings of the genre. This is such an album. It has a lot of focus on the musical aspect, which really contributes to the greatness. In addition, there is a lot of variety to the raps. You can usually expect parental advisories for the lyrics in hip hop. This one gets more than most and some pretty extreme ones. If you are easily offended, you will probably want to avoid this. However, if are more open minded and like some good hip hop, you really should give this a try. If I had to sum it up with one word, I'd say "inventive."
 
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Keep On Hustling

There is a major electronic, techno vibe to this cut. The rap on this thing makes me think of really old school hip hop - all the way to the beginnings.

Happy To Be Alive
As bass sounds bring this into being we get some serious jazz vibes at play. This is just so cool. Musically it's very retro in texture, but the rap is more modern. I just love the groove of this cut. Talking about smoking and drinking, this almost feels chemically enhanced as you listen to it.
Smokin' Hay
More modern and electronic in nature, this at times isn't as successful as the two previous pieces. That said, there are parts of this that really work extremely well. The same two substances are referenced heavily here.
High On The Highway
More purely rhythmic, this is still very effective. I love the multiple layers of vocals. The rap really rolls nicely, too.
Taking Over
There is some serious funk built into this cut. I like it a lot.
Whatever
I love the rubbery groove to this cut. The rap here seems to be among the strongest of the disc, too. This is electronic, but somehow organic at the same time. I think this might be my favorite track here. It does get some serious parental advisories on the lyrics.
Beat of Life
There is a serious old school soul vibe to some of this. Yet we get more modern electronic hip hop sound built into it, too. This is a strong tune, but not at the same level as the last one.
Weed Life
I love staggered, stuttered effect on this. The music is electronic and very mean. This is another highlight of the disc for sure.
Humpin'
More electronic, I'm not overly crazy about this one. It has its charms, but it's a bit too weird for me.
Because I Got High
This is sung in the style of old school music. It feels tongue in cheek. It's a lot of fun. It's another of the strongest tunes here. This gets some major parental advisories. It's lyrically kind of like a modern version of "Reefer Madness."
Palmdale
In some ways this reminds me of something Outkast would do. It's a bit strange, but it's also very cool.
She Won't Let Me F***
As you can guess from my edit of the title, this gets some serious parental advisories. I dig the tune, though. It has a bit of a reggae groove. It seems very tongue in cheek. It's a lot of fun.
Crazy Rap
This has such a cool groove. I love the mix of the voices. The whole tune just grooves so well. The parental advisories are firmly in effect here.
High on the Highway (Part II)
Rhythmic and driving, this is solid stuff.
Bonus Track

      

Christmas Time
The music on this is downright mean. The cut is another that makes me think of Outkast a bit. I dig this a lot.
 
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